Glass used in horticulture is usually 3 mm thick (24 oz/sq ft) and the standard quality available is generally good, Nevertheless, when buying a greenhouse it is as well to enquire what weight, or thickness, of glass is supplied; whether it is ot British manufacture or imported; whether it is supplied directly by the retailer or comes from a glass distributor; and what arrangements there are for replacing panes of glass that might get broken in transit. It is a sensible precaution to examine a sample pane, for the quality may vary considerably, and gla\s that gives distorted images may be unsuitable in some situations. Generally speaking, the larger the panes of glass the better, for they will allow greater light admission.
A bed has to be provided between the glass and the frame, and while linseed-oil putty may still be used in wooden-framed greenhouses, alternatives arc available that are in some respects superior. The main drawback with conventional putty is that, unless the exposed edges are scaled with paint, it dries out after a while, Eventually cracks will form, letting in water and perhaps causing drips. There are now 'never-set' putties, most of which are easily applied from the nozzle of a simple purpose-made applicator. Another method which is now widely used consists of ribbons of adhesive-coated plastic, which are wound from a drum straight on to the glazing bars. The ribbon is claimed to retain its adhesive properties for many years - an important advantage when it comes to replacing a broken pane.
Alloy-framed greenhouses are generally provided with simple clips to hold the glass panes in place. Make sure these are of a non-rusting type, and consider how difficult it would be to replace a broken pane. Sooner or later this will be necessary, and the speed w ith which it can be done varies enormously with different types of fastening. Panes of glass will usually Overlap, and should do so by about mm (J in). The overlap should not be too great, because algae will inevitably grow there, cutting out the light; on the other hand, too small an overlap
Established plants make a fine display Ihts li-an to conservatory allows rain to enter and creates unwanted draughts. On the sides of the greenhouse the glass panes may butt together, and there is nothing against this providing they fit snugly, edge to edge.
At tins point you should be able to decide what kind of greenhouse you need. You will be able to decide, tor instance, what structural material (alloy, steel, or wood) you prefer; the need or otherwise to provide for benching; and the type and extent of glazing and ventilation.
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